Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Working From Home

On par with trying to get any rest while the kids are home is trying to set up a daily writing schedule.

July 6 at the beach.  A bit nippy.  But not bad for winter!

We've been here 8 months now, we are MOSTLY moved into our new home, Damon has work, the kids are at school from 8:30 to 3:00 and I am still here on a tourist's visa. 

I should be bored out of my mind, right?!

Let's not even get into the fact that Damon is still home until 2:00 most days, and gone all weekend.  He's a good egg.  (I make him take the kids to school in the mornings.)

But that's where the distractions come in.  Budgeting discussions for the new car.  Can we afford to buy all of Ryan's riding manuals first-hand?  (Vomit.  See next essay.)  Do we need to get the twins' hearing assessed right away or is their speech improving? (And does it REALLY matter that they still say "I muss toilet" after 8 months of living here?!)  Should I be there for all the dental appointments?  (Um.  Everyone's teeth were SUPPOSEDLY fine in Germany but I believe the Aussies have other standards.  Perhaps a bit high, but if the state is paying for the capping of milk teeth, then what the heck, right?!)  Who is going to write the letter to the real estate agent about the possums that are taking over the house WE are supposed to have exclusive use of? 

Nintendo DSIs are on sale at Target now for Christmas.  (No kidding.  Layaway in July is like the BEST Aussie tradition EVER!  Not only is the shopping almost done, we are paying it off a month at a time!)


This is life - I like to think of it as LIF after a typo to my mom years ago that just about put it all in perspective.  LIF is..well, if I have to explain, right?!

LIFE would be getting it together to do what I love as well as the daily chores.  Although I have to admit, I am LOVING my new space, the ability to cook curries and peanut sauces due to that space - and the fact that you can get Asian ingredients at Walmart.  (Does anyone know the difference between a Malaysian red curry paste and Thai red curry paste?  I do!)

Still, writing professionally is going to take some dedication, some ability to set aside a space (got it!) and a TIME to take it seriously.  My Bible, Stephen King's book on writing (Funny enough just about the only book of his I enjoy!  GREAT author, as it turns out, just not my style story.) is on the make-shift desk in my bedroom.  And if he can do it with a portable Olivetti typewriter perched on his knees while hiding in the laundry room from his kids....

There's the rub.  But I don't WANT to wait until the kids leave home.


So this past Monday, when I had a day-long appointment in Brisbane that involved a lot of just sitting in waiting rooms in between meetings, I did what Karenne taught me to do through writers' group.  I laid out a plan to write.  When and where.  (Not quite up to GOALS yet, Jim, but once I have the time down, I'll send them to you!  I know, I know, having seven projects in a list doesn't mean they are going to get done!)

I planned to start Tuesday.  9 - 11 AM four days a week.  Since I spend Friday mornings at school and quite a number of afternoons there as well.  (Writing program with the kids on Fridays- yay me - and Optiminds on Wednesdays - and did they really rope me into doing math with the smart kids?!  That doesn't sound too promising, does it?!  Ah well - maybe I'll learn something!)  Someone DOES have to do the grocery shopping and the errands too.  So 9 - 11 sounded doable, if not the 10,000 words a day, six days a week that Stephen suggests.  (Let's remember, HIS kids are OUT of the house!)

Swear to God, Ryan started vomiting on Monday night.  After I cleaned the bathroom and got her tucked back in,  Andrew woke up with a nightmare.  Which wasn't surprising, since the possums living in our walls seemed to have invited friends over for a late night party, without asking our permission of course..  I had a hard time falling back asleep after that since I wasn't sure whether the stomping going on above my head was Ryan vomiting, Andrew panicking, the possums or Damon coming home from work after midnight. 

Ryan.  My fairy, so beautiful!

My biggest regret about myself is that I need sleep.

I enlisted Ryan's help in setting up my writing space - some incense, my Anne Lamott books, Jane Austen, some other inspirations and, of course, Stephen - while Damon took the boys to school.

When Damon came back to tell me about Friday's 8AM pancake breakfast to honor Ms Dance as one of Queensland's "Favourite Teachers" and how Tracy had invited us over for tea on Wednesday afternoon and Aidan had cried because he forgot how to pronounce the word "how" on his reading list (no worries, I have it printed on his palm now and he has to raise it like an American Indian to see it!)and if he should call the rental association and would I like to write a formal letter of complaint about the possums (who, by the way, look NOTHING like American possums, but are actually red and quite cute, and look a bit like foxes)....

I felt a little like I was throwing him to the wolves (with a vomiting child to boot!)

But I shut the door and put words to paper for 2 hours.

The big boys check out the beach conditions.  18C in the water.  (High 60s F)

I got 400 words down that I am reasonably proud of.

And today I plan to do the same.  9 - 11. 

Because, as it turns out, the bathroom isn't going to cheat me out of the pleasure of cleaning it by cleaning itself while I am looking the other way.  The books aren't going to jump out of their moving boxes and arrange themselves on the shelves in the wrong order.  And the laundry will hang on the line until I am ready to take it down.

Am I able to write from home while I still have kids in it?

Absolutely not.

But I'm going to do it anyway!

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